Episode 24

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Episode Information
Episode #24
Title 1: 最後のシ者
Saigo no Shisha
The Final Messenger
Title 2: The Beginning and the End, or "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
24 C308 deliberation.jpg
Written By Hideaki Anno, Akio Satsukawa
Directed By Masayuki
First Aired 3-13-1996
Video Release Date 3-5-1997 (Japan-Video/LD), 6-26-2001 (US-DVD)
Angel Appearances Tabris, Eva-02 (Under control by Tabris), Lilith(Crucified)
Eva Sorties Eva-01
Episode chronology
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"Episode 23" "Episode 25/Episode 25′ "

Overview

Unable to find Asuka and too frightened to face Misato or Rei, Shinji runs away yet again, only to meet and strike a friendship with Kaworu Nagisa, the replacement pilot for Eva-02. Kaworu's openness and friendliness provide much-needed comfort for the disturbed Shinji. However, suspicions abound over Kaworu's incredible synchronization abilities, and when he reveals that he is the Seventeenth Angel, Shinji must battle his newfound friend or face the threat of world annihilation.

Synopsis

The episode opens on a flashback to the young Asuka running to inform her mother that she has been chosen as an Eva pilot, only to walk in on the aftermath of Kyoko's suicide. The narrative then jumps to a more recent flashback of Asuka finding out about Kaji's death from Shinji. Though she accuses Shinji of lying, the news still have a visibly devastating effect on her. Finally, we catch up with the present, where a desolate and haggard Asuka lies naked in a bathtub in the ruins of a house. She weakly that declares that she is worthless because she can no longer pilot an Eva, and therefore feels she no longer has any reason to go on living. Just then a Nerv Intelligence Agent happens upon her.

Hyuga relates the news of Asuka's recovery to Misato, who notes that it took an unusually long time for the agents to find Asuka, and that the timing is suspicious, due to it coinciding with the arrival of the Fifth Child. Back in his room in the apartment, Shinji lies on his bed in solitude, trying to process the recent disturbing revelations about Rei Ayanami. He realizes that there is a definite connection between her, his mother, and the strange presence inside Eva-01, and he wonders what his father is planning to do with them.

Back at Nerv Headquarters, Ritsuko is being held in a security cell for her actions in the previous episode. She is confronted by Gendo, who tries to interrogate her on why she destroyed the Dummy System. Ritsuko only bitterly responds that her intention was to destroy Rei, and that she feels nothing for him anymore. Gendo then tells her that he is disappointed in her, but Ritsuko just replies that he never expected anything of her, to begin with, before he leaves her alone in her cell.

Later, a despondent Shinji stands at the edge of the crater lake by sunset, too afraid to go home or face Misato or Rei, and unsure of what happened to Asuka. His other friends have been evacuated from Tokyo-3, and Shinji is unsure of what to do, as he is unwilling to reach out to anyone. His attention is drawn by a strange boy about his own age who sits perched on a nearby statue, humming the Ode to Joy. The boy introduces himself to Shinji as Kaworu Nagisa, the Fifth Child, and reveals that he already knows who Shinji is, asking him to just call him by his first name. Because he is utterly alone, Shinji is drawn to Kaworu in their very first conversation.

Misato is suspicious of Kaworu, and meets in secret with Hyuga, who reveals that he was not able to find very much on Kaworu. All there was to find in his classified personal file was a birthday, which in an ominous coincidence is the exact same date as Second Impact.

The next day, Kaworu participates in a sync test alongside Rei and Shinji, and his awesome synchronization scores befuddle everyone. He soon makes contact with Rei, attempting to give her clues as to her true nature[1]. Rei, meanwhile, responds to Kaworu by being uncharacteristically suspicious of him. He goes to NERV's public bath with Shinji; here he muses on the paradox of the human condition, noting that man is caught between the fear of being hurting by other people, yet also fears being alone just as much, and expresses his empathy for Shinji. Shinji lands up spending the night in his room[2], talking to him about his past and his feelings about his father.[3]

  • Kaworu places his hand on Shinji's the same way Misato placed her hand on his in the previous Episode. While the sexual intentions on Misato's part are plainly obvious, and drew Shinji's immediate disgust, he does not react to Kaworu's touch, and is in fact confused about what he has in mind. Despite implications, Kaworu's gesture might merely have been a sign of trying to comfort Shinji rather than a sexual advance. In one interview, Masayuki mentions the storyboard says Kaworu merely touches Shinji's hand, instead of holding it, but he did not notice this when animating it as Gainax was in a hurry to deliver the episode.[4][5]

Meanwhile, Seele meets to discuss Gendo's betrayal of their trust, and that they need to wrest control of Nerv away from him before the promised day comes. Keel Lorenz ends the meeting by declaring that Gendo is going to pay for his treachery. In the Eva cage, Gendo discusses his goals with Eva-01, directly addressing it as Yui. He notes that with the Spear of Longinus out the way, all hindrances for their plans are out of the way, and all there is left to do now is to wait for the right time. It is revealed that Gendo has grafted Adam's embryo into his hand.

In her apartment, Rei ponders Kaworu's words in her apartment; she feels that he is somehow right about them being the "same", but she cannot explain why. Meanwhile, Misato bids a tearful farewell to Pen Pen, stating that Tokyo-3 has become too dangerous for him to stay there, so she will send away him to live with Hikari and her family.

Early in the morning the next day, Kaworu stands on the statue of an Angel[6], in the center of the crater lake. He talks to himself at first, speaking about how humans are not Gods, before fifteen monoliths appear and speak of Gendo's agenda[7]. In an apparent reference to an earlier conversation, they remind him that they have entrusted him with their wish, and tell him that he is the vessel of Adam's soul and that Adam's body is with Gendo. Misato watches Kaworu from a distance, but only sees him speaking to himself. Confused, she is even more surprised when he apparently notices her at such a great distance.

Meanwhile, Hyuga steals Kaworu's synch data on Misato's behest, and his ability to set his synch rate to any level at will deepens the mystery. Misato decides she has to look elsewhere for answers and pays a visit to Ritsuko in her cell. Ritsuko reveals that Kaworu might very well be the Final Angel.

Ritsuko's suspicions are soon proved to be true[8]. Kaworu activates Eva-02 externally, and he and his controlled Eva head down to Terminal Dogma. As the initial confusion settles, Gendo and Fuyutsuki both realize that Seele themselves has sent an Angel directly to the Geofront and is shocked that they would make such a bold move. Shinji is ordered to sortie in Eva-01. He finds the idea of Kaworu being an Angel unacceptable, and says he has betrayed him, just like his father.

Newfound friends meet each other as enemies on the way down, and Shinji battles Eva-02 while shouting for Kaworu to stop. Kaworu continues undeterred, using Eva-02 to block Eva-01. Shinji apologizes to Asuka, as he is fighting her by proxy, as he draws the Eva's knife and counterattacks. As they continue downward, Kaworu shares his philosophical musings on human nature with Shinji and tells him the truth about the A.T. Field along the way. Meanwhile, Misato and Hyuga prepare to self-destruct the facility, considering their own deaths a preferable alternative to the Third Impact. But as he approaching Terminal Dogma, Kaworu sets up an A.T. Field barrier of unprecedented power to block out Nerv's view, and even knocks out the self-destruct mechanism. Despite Shinji's best efforts, Kaworu enters the LCL Plant.

However, a second A.T. Field, generated by Rei, shows up before vanishing. She watches Kaworu as he approaches the crucified giant. After initially referring to the giant as Adam, Kaworu realizes his mistake, and identifies it as Lilith[9]. He has a brief moment of realization before Eva-01 throws the defeated Eva-02 through the door and grabs him. Kaworu thanks Shinji for stopping him. He explains that his destiny is to wipe out all humanity, but he wishes for mankind to go on existing, as he doesn't want Shinji to die. But he knows that as long as he is alive he poses a danger to humanity, so his life must be ended to ensure their future. He looks up and at Rei and smiles as he says the latter. He then asks Shinji to kill him, telling him that it was a privilege to get to know him. Grudgingly, after long hesitation, Shinji kills him.

In the aftermath, Eva-01 is washed clean of Kaworu's blood. Gendo overlooks the cleaning, with Rei standing in place of Ritsuko. Shinji sits on the beach where he met Kaworu, emotionally devastated to have killed the first person who ever got so close to him. Misato tries to convince him he did the right thing, but he remains haunted by his action.

On-Air Version Differences

Main Article: Guides:Episode 24 OA vs. DC

  • Asuka's shocked expression after slapping Shinji at the news of Kaji's death (along with the spilled coffee-pot from The End of Evangelion) is absent.
  • The brief appearance of the embryo of Adam is absent.
  • The expanded conversion of Kaworu saying Rei is "the same as him" is absent.
  • The 15 Seele Monoliths at the Lake Scene and Misato spying on Kaworu is absent.
  • Rei's face as she looks at Kaworu in Terminal Dogma is drawn differently in the OA version, although differently drawn faces are something all of the DC episodes have. Lilith's legs have been added due to her growing back her legs in the DC version of Episode 22.

Notes

The Next Episode Preview after the end of Episode 24' is a preview for the video-released version of EoE's first episode, Episode 25' (Which consists of animatics of Asuka battling the MP Eva Series as well as Misato saying goodbye to Shinji). The video version of 26' Next Episode Preview is shown after Air's video version (This consists of live-action footage of Studio Gainax). The video version of The End of Evangelion was released on LD and VHS along with Episodes 25 and 26 of the series as Genesis: 13.

See also

Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's lines in Episode 24

Quotes

  • Shinji, before meeting Kaworu: Everyone, including Toji and Kensuke, lost their homes and left. My friends...I don't have anyone I can call a friend anymore. There's no one. I can't go see Ayanami. I don't have the courage for it. I don't know how I'm supposed to face her. Asuka, Misato-san, Mother...What should I...What should I do?
  • Kaworu and Rei: Kaworu: "You're the First Children, aren't you? Rei Ayanami...You're the same as me. So, both of us ended up in the same form as the Lilim while we inhabit this planet." Rei: "Who are you?"
  • Kaworu and Shinji talking in the public bath: Kaworu: "I see. Humans constantly feel pain in their hearts. Because the heart is so sensitive to pain, humans also feel that to live is to suffer. You're so delicate, like glass, especially your heart." Shinji: "Me?" Kaworu: "Yes, you are worthy of sympathy." Shinji: "Sympathy?" Kaworu: "It means, I like you."
  • Rei: "Why am I here? Why am I alive again? For what? And for whom? The Fifth Children... That boy... I feel as if he's the same as me. Why?"
  • Shinji: "You betrayed me! You betrayed my feelings! You betrayed me, just like Father did!"

References

  1. Kaworu's line to Rei about "being the same as him" implies that Rei is the vessel of Lilith's soul, just as Kaworu is the vessel for Adam's. This is proven as Rei deploys an A.T. Field in Central Dogma.
  2. Kaworu and Shinji lie down just like Asuka and Hikari did in the previous episode, but while Hikari seemed disturbed at Asuka's condition and Asuka was sobbing away and unwilling to face her, Shinji opens herself up to Kaworu, who listens to him attentively, despite not saying much on his part. Shinji still chooses to stay on the floor, however.
  3. Some early fansubbers misheard this as "koi", but the scripts for this episode make it clear it is "koui". As for "suki", the original ADV VHS subtitle translation gives the word as "like," while Platinum and the English dub use "love." The Netflix release, translated by Khara, chose to use "like" again. Khara's own official translator has publicly defended this change, and the ambiguity it retains from the original text.
  4. H: Why hand-holding though? M: Because that's what the script said. H: (flips to the relevant page of the script) it says “touched his hand”. Isn’t it touched, but you drew "hold" (laughs). M: Because that's what the artist drew and I wasn't really too concerned and ok-ed it. (laughs) there was basically no time. - NGE Storyboards Collection, Vol.3-4
  5. Hideaki Anno has also denied "carnal feelings" on Shinji's part:
    "—— Speaking about the blushing, is it because Shinji was happy that someone said they like him?
    Anno: Yes, Shinji-kun didn’t experience carnal desire there"
    - June Interview
  6. Kaworu is sitting where the head of the winged statue should be. In the On-Air version, it isn't clear if the statue is even humanoid, but in Death and in the Director's Cut version, the statue is very clearly a winged Angel, one with the head missing. Kaworu either sits on the head of the statue or stands on its neck.
    • That he's on the statue of an Angel is a direct giveaway that he is the last Angel, and the missing head foreshadows his own death. Kaworu standing on top of the neck while talking to the monoliths is another subtle revelation. The statue strongly resembles a Mass-Production Eva from End of Evangelion, and those have Kaworu dummy plugs inserted through the neck to control them.
  7. See Theory and Analysis: Kaworu's Agenda for details of Kaworu's talk with the monoliths over the lake (only in the Director's Cut version), his monologue as he made his way to Terminal Dogma and his realization when he was there.
  8. Kaworu/Tabris is the last of a triad of Angels to try to understand and contact humans. As such, he forms part of the classical depiction of an Angel as a beautiful human being with a halo and wings. Arael, representing a pair of glowing wings, and Armisael, representing a halo, complete the form of an Angel along with him.
  9. According to a translation of the original script (as opposed to the final version used in the show), Kaworu originally referred to Eva-02 as the "slave of the Night Demon(Lilith)" instead of "servant of the Lilin."[1]



External links

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